Saul Alvarez W 12 Austin Trout: This is obviously a very difficult fight to pick. Nothing would truly surprise me. I can see Austin Trout easily out-boxing Canelo Alvarez down the stretch. I can see Alvarez hurting and stopping Trout to the body, and I can see a close, nip-and-tuck affair with hard-to-score rounds throughout.
But I think the most likely scenario is the third one. Alvarez will continue to come forward and bang to the body, and I’m not sure Trout has enough pop to keep him off for all 12 rounds.
Plus, with everything else being even, I’m not convinced that Trout can get a fair shake at the Alamodome, in Texas, against arguably the second-most popular Mexican in the entire sport. Call it Canelo by a close and perhaps controversial decision. Alvarez by decision
Record: 3-4 [Last week: Donaire W 12 Rigondeaux]
Austin Trout W 12 Saul Alvarez: Gun shy I am — darn you, Nonito Donaire — but march on I will. Is Saul Alvarez better than Miguel Cotto at this point? If so, not by much. Alvarez is quicker and can put punches together, but he is still relatively green.
And after seeing how calm Austin Trout was in December, I figure him to be about the same. He’ll nullify Alvarez with enough countering and slight-of-hand movement. Trout should prevail. Trout by decision.
Record: 3-3 [Last week: Donaire KO 11 Rigondeaux]
Saul Alvarez KO 11 Austin Trout: Another genuine anticipated showdown between two unbeaten titleholders. It will be very close until the latter stages when I am picking Mexican wonder Saul Alvarez.
With his greater energy and power, Alvarez will take control and take out Austin Trout with an 11th-round technical knockout.
Record: 0-2 [Last pick: Rios KO 9 Alvarado]
Saul Alvarez W 12 Austin Trout: Yet another tough fight to pick. Interesting clash of styles. Austin Trout is riding high following the win over Miguel Cotto and showed a lot of composure during that victory.
Still, I have to give the edge to Alvarez here. For some reason I just feel he will find a way to break through for his biggest victory.
Record: 4-2 [Last week: Donaire UD 12 Rigondeaux]
Austin Trout W 12 Saul Alvarez: Neither of these two has faced overwhelming opposition to this point, but because Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is the star, the narrative is partly about who he hasn’t faced yet.
Austin Trout is the answer to the question, “What happens when he faces a top junior middleweight?” Against Trout, the answer will probably be lose. Trout has better defense and should be able to counter Canelo effectively all night en route to a big win.
Record: 3-4 [Last week: Donaire KO Rigondeaux]
Saul Alvarez KO Austin Trout: I think this is a 50-50 fight. I like Austin Trout’s boxing ability and athleticism, which could end up leaving Saul Alvarez as baffled as Nonito Donaire was against Guillermo Rigondeaux last Saturday.
Alvarez has at least solid skills, and is too big and strong to be pushed around, as Trout did to Miguel Cotto. I’m going to roll the dice and predict that Alvarez’s explosiveness and power will be the deciding factors. Canelo KO 10.
Record: 3-4 [Last week: Donaire KO 7 Rigondeaux]
Saul Alvarez W 12 Austin Trout: I think this fight will bring this best of Saul Alvarez. I give Alvarez a lot of credit for taking this fight.
He could easily have skirted Austin Trout and took a gimme fight. He didn’t. I think he wants to show the world he has another level. That will come out here.
Record: 4-3 [Last week: Rigondeaux W 12 Donaire]
Saul Alvarez W 12 Austin Trout: I’m going with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a very well fought fight from both sides.
It may be the toughest fight of Canelo’s career. But I’m thinking solid pressure and heavy body shots will earn him a pretty solid decision win over Austin Trout.
Record: 4-2 [Last week: Donaire W 12 Rigondeaux]
Saul Alvarez late-round TKO Austin Trout: For the record, I think Canelo Alaverez is going to win this fight by late-round TKO. He is a smart, patient fighter with a great chin and bigger power than Austin Trout.
He will take his time trying to figure out his opponent, then go in for the kill. Don’t think Austin can stand up to his power. Then again, I didn’t think Guillermo Rigondeaux could stand up to Nonito Donaire’s power.
Record: 3-4 [Last week: Donaire W 12 Rigondeaux]
Saul Alvarez KO 10 Austin Trout: Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire were both in positioned to win big in their last outing. We all know how that turned out. However, Canelo Alvarez has improved as a world-class prizefighter with every championship round under his belt.
Canelo has a solid foundation, along with a firm jab and above average hand speed. And let’s not forget, he digs well to body, which is his bread and butter. Austin Trout is not a puncher, although he’s strong on the inside and uses the ring to his liking and creates angles.
Trout works behind a good jab and is a consistent mover. A moving target is difficult to touch. The pressure and beating to body will take away Trout’s legs and yield to the target practice Canelo had been seeking in the early rounds along with an added 154-pound belt.
By a convincing total of 15-4, the experts see Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defeating Austin Trout to retain his WBC belt while earning the vacant RING junior middleweight championship.
[Note: Martinez-Burgos was a draw, meaning all who selected otherwise received a loss]
Photo by Stephanie Trapp, Showtime
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
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Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org